Officials from Biden pressured fact-checker to change gas stove ban rating

 April 12, 2024

According to internal emails analyzed by a watchdog, the Biden administration applied effective pressure on the fact-checking website Snopes to revise its accuracy rating regarding whether or not a federal moratorium on gas stoves was under consideration.

Republican legislators expressed apprehension following Consumer Product Safety Commission commissioner Richard Trumka Jr.'s 2022 proposition of a prohibition on gas stoves as a means of safeguarding the environment, as The Washington Examiner reported.

Snopes' Response

In response, Snopes assigned the proposal a "mixture" accuracy rating in early January 2023.

Snopes said the CPSC was “currently considering a ban on gas stoves if they can’t be made safer, due to concerns over harmful indoor pollutants that cause health and respiratory problems,” In the initial fact-check.

Though noted that “the ban has not been put in place,” according to archived records.

As previously stated by Trumka Jr. to Bloomberg, gas stoves pose a "hidden hazard," adding, "Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”

Change in Rating

Nevertheless, the rating was discreetly revised from "mixture" to "false" on January 11, 2023, one day after Snopes had initially assigned the "mixture" label to its fact-check.

The update stated that the CPSC, a federal agency, “is not currently considering a ban on gas stoves, though a commissioner said ‘anything is on the table’ if they can’t be made safer, due to concerns over harmful indoor pollutants that cause health and respiratory problems.”

The CPSC reportedly exerted pressure on Snopes to make that crucial change, according to emails obtained by the Functional Government Initiative, a watchdog organization investigating the Biden administration.

“Sent over tough letter to this writer yesterday when the initial claim was rated as ‘mixed,'” Pamela Rucker Springs, the spokeswoman for the CPSC, told White House assistant press secretary Michael Kikukawa in an email on Jan. 11, 2023. The email linked to the latest version of the fact-check from Snopes.

White House Response

In a statement to Fox News, Springs asserted that her agency was “glad to see accurate reports that the administration is not trying to ban gas stoves — and never has.”

“As a routine matter, whenever CPSC identifies factually inaccurate coverage in any media outlet, we contact the outlet to request a correction,” Springs said. “That’s what occurred in this circumstance.”

The recently uncovered exchange, according to the Functional Government Initiative, “goes beyond dysfunction” by demonstrating how the government “sympathetic media to censor inconvenient news.”

“A commissioner appointed by President Biden wanted to ban gas stoves, and he got caught, provoking a public outcry,” FGI spokesman Pete McGinnis said.

“So, the CPSC staff leaned on Snopes, seeking to counter the narrative by splitting hairs about Commission processes. And the White House finds this ‘helpful.’ Helpful with what?”

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